The Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Public Health, on behalf of the Thailand’s National Aids Committee, in partnership with UNAIDS, has launched Aids Zero Portal – http://www.AidsZeroPortal.org.
This innovative interactive tool provides up to date information about the HIV situation and responses at national, provincial and local levels.
An estimated 460,000 people are living with HIV in Thailand and more than 246,000 people were on antiretroviral therapy in 2013.
About 8,200 new infections and 21,000 Aids-related deaths occur annually. Two thirds of new infections occur in 33 provinces and Bangkok accounts for nearly 25 per cent of new infections.
“The Aids Zero Portal will be a critical tool to provide strategic information for effective prevention, as well as for treatment and care for people living with HIV,” said Dr Sophon Mekthon, Director General of Disease Control Department, Ministry of Public Health.
Evidence shows that sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men are most affected by HIV, accounting for more than 60 per cent of new infections in Thailand.
“The key to getting to zero is delivering HIV programs where the epidemic is and tailoring services to the needs of key affected population, so that no one is left behind,” added Tatiana Shoumilina, UNAids Country Director, Thailand.
The Aids Zero Portal is designed to break down complex data so policy makers and program managers can effectively plan finances, better target the services, track progress and identify opportunities for improvement.
“By accessing real-time data on the go, health professional can monitor the progress of programs and quickly adapt to changing needs,” said Dr Taweesap Sirapaprasiri, Director, National Aids Management Centre, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health.
“Almost Bt9 billion was spent on the HIV response in 2013 but only 16 per cent of that went towards a prevention program. The portal will help better target our budgets and maximize their impact to reach people in need with sufficient coverage,” Dr Taweesap added.
According to the lasted report released by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, the HIV prevalence among the gay population in Thailand has risen sharply, from 17 percent in 2003 to 29 percent in 2011.
Bangkok Rainbow Organization, a community based NGO supporting LGBT well-being in Bangkok told GayAsiaNews.com that 31.1 percent of the estimated 260,000 MSM and transgender men and women in the Thai capital are infected with HIV/AIDS.